Deerfield Beach Little League teams in full playoff mode

Posted on 21 June 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Melcher Feliciano Jr. said the key to winning games in the District 10 Little League baseball playoffs is how you fare on the mound.

You have to have five to seven pitchers,” said Feliciano Jr., who is the manager of the Deerfield Beach Little League Senior All-Star team. “Most of the guys can play all of the positions, but it’s very tough if you don’t have a lot of pitchers and catchers. It comes down to pitching.”

Deerfield Beach opened the Senior Division playoffs with an 8-1 setback against host North Springs Little League at North Community Park in Coral Springs. Shane Garner scored the lone run off a base hit from Anthony Davilla. North Springs won the United States National Championship last year in the Senior Division.

Feliciano Jr., who coached the Deerfield Beach Little League 50/70 team last year, said there is an adjustment between coaching the younger players and the Senior Division squad.

The Deerfield Beach Little League program features a little more than a dozen teams and just two teams in the Senior Division. In addition to playing each other, they also played against other area programs.

Obviously we are trying to get a win in every game we play,” Feliciano Jr. said. There are five teams from the local league playing in the All-Star competition in the various divisions. “We spend a lot of time at practice working on communication and other things. Sometimes it’s very difficult because the kids can’t make the practice or something comes up at the last minute. We ended our season just one week before the All-Stars and that is a lot to go through in a week.”

Feliciano Jr. said they selected the best players from the two Senior Division teams in the Deerfield Beach Little League.

The best ones make the cut,” Feliciano Jr. said. “We are trying to win the whole series and go to sectionals and make it to states.”

Feliciano Jr. said the speed of the game is a little quicker with the 50/70s because the bases are closer and the mound is closer.

The ball comes faster to you in the field and the pitches are faster and you have to adjust to that,” Feliciano Jr. said. “With the Senior Division, the ball is pitched faster than the 50/70s, so I will throw mostly fastballs when I pitch batting practice. I will also hit the ball harder to the infield. We will also go (practice) four times a week.”

He said he would push the 50/70s as well.

Sometimes I try and push them a little harder,” Feliciano Jr. said. “You can’t baby them. They get that feeling when they get to the next level, I don’t want them to crash and say, ‘I can’t do this anymore because it is too hard or too fast for me.’ I try and do the same thing with the seniors, the same method, and make it competitive.”

When Feliciano Jr. and his squad walked in the gate at North Community Park, they passed the national championship banner from 2017. He said it was not intimidating.

This is a challenge for us,” Feliciano Jr. said. “I liked the kids’ attitude, work ethic and how they treat their teammates. They show good sportsmanship. There is nothing negative, and everything is positive.”

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FLICKS: American Animals opens & Three Billboards now on DVD

Posted on 21 June 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

Creating a buzz at international film festivals, American Animals opens this weekend in neighborhood theaters. This independent film is reminiscent of “True Crime” television shows from the 1990s that were hosted by the late Robert Stack and William Shatner. Based on a true story, the film is part documentary and part fictional recreation about a theft from a special collections library.

Set in Lexington, Kentucky, this film opens with a quote from Charles Darwin. The opening credits are presented over John Audubon paintings and we see four teenagers playing dress-up as old men enter a special collections library on the Transylvania University campus. The film flashes forward to four older men — Warren Lipka, Spencer Reinhard, Chas Allen and Erik Borsuk, being interviewed about their criminal caper.

The preparation, the heist and the aftermath of the crime is reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino’s dialogue scenes from films like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. We witness childhood friends Spencer (Barry Keoghan) and Warren (Evan Peters) rebel against their suburban environment, which feels like the Monkees song “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

Due to a lack of security at the library, Warren and Spencer hatch a plan to steal the Audubon paintings and sell them to an international arts dealer. As their pipe dream becomes reality, Warren and Spencer recruit Chas (Blake Jenner) and Eric (Jared Abrahamson) to act as extra muscle.

For the most part, the humor of American Animals is watching four highly-educated teenagers perform actions with the same IQ as Jackass participants. When the actual crime is committed, the humor dissipates and the violence becomes painfully real. Does crime pay? Will there be redemption? American Animals has the answer at your local theater this weekend.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbling, Missouri is available for free at your local library on DVD. The winner for Best Screenplay Award at the Oscars, this film has become influential. After the [Grenfell Tower] fire in London and the shooting in Parkland, independent advocates created political (albeit electronic) billboards in protest.

Despite the impact of Oscar wins, Three Billboards Outside Ebbling, Missouri was only a modest success, despite an aggressive marketing campaign from the studios. The trailer presented a justified angry woman taking on a community run by stupid police officers, which probably alienated potential male tickets buyers. Perhaps if it was marketed against Hollywood’s political whims of the time, this good film would have enjoyed a stronger box office.

Unlike the simplicity of the trailers, Three Billboards is a nuanced drama that balances tragedy with comedy.

The three billboards are the catalyst that ignites the showdown between Mildred (Frances McDormand – Best Actress winner) and her conflict between the Sheriff (Woody Harrelson) and his Deputy (Sam Rockwell — Best Supporting Actor winner). With surprising character motivation, the story is unpredictable and filled with pain and redemption.


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CLERGY CORNER: My Favorite Title

Posted on 21 June 2018 by LeslieM

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29 NRSV)

On the day of my graduation from Seminary, I earned a degree, Master of Divinity, M.Div. for short, and I was able to put these letters behind my name.

On the day I was ordained I received a title, Minister of Word and Sacrament. I was able to put the title Reverend before my name, Rev. for short.

And people call me Pastor Jeff, which is what I prefer to any fancy title, and it works for me. But I must confess, there is another title I wear with pride.

When my children were born I became a dad. I remember when I dropped them off at preschool before I went to church, and their tiny little classmates would come up to me to show me a project or say hi and they called me “Rachel’s Dad” or “Nathan’s Dad.” For instance “Hey, ‘Nathan’s Dad,’ look at what I just did.” My heart was warmed by their cuteness and sweetness. But I loved the fact that they didn’t refer to me by any name or title, but simply by my connection to their friend, my child. At that moment, I wasn’t Reverend, Pastor, Minister or Master of Divinity, I was simply “Rachel’s Dad” or “Nathan’s Dad,” and that warmed my heart more than any other title that was given to me.

With the title “Dad” comes a job and as challenging as the ministry can be, being a dad has its challenges too. It requires an awful lot from us and pushes us to our limits. And when we come through these challenges, the love that keeps our family together gets even stronger.

I ask myself the question: “Can I love God more than my kids?” The Bible tells me that I must be willing to forsake even my own family. Frankly, I don’t know if I can do that. I know that this challenge pushes me to my human limits but the challenge is still there.

And then I realized something about God. He, too, has many titles and names. Adonai, Elohim, El Shadai are just a few names/titles of God. But Jesus teaches us to call upon in prayer with the words “Our Father.” And when Jesus called upon God in prayer he used the word “Abba,” roughly translated, “Daddy.”

I wonder if God’s heart warms when he hears his children call upon Him in prayer. I wonder if “Jesus’ Dad” is a title that filled Him with joy. I know that any God who would prefer to have us call him “Father,” “Daddy” or “Dad” must love us the way we love our children. And considering the magnitude of God, that is a lot of love.

As a Christian and a father, I realize that I am not forsaking my children when I love God more, on the contrary. When I love God, he loves me back. And the abundance of God’s love spills upon everyone who is near.

As a human being, I have limits. God, on the other hand, does not. And when my love is tested and pushed to the limits, I can tap into a source of love that is infinite.

As a Christian dad, I find that God’s love spills upon my children every time we pray, every time we worship, every time I am in their midst.

I know that Father’s Day can be a challenging day. I was fortunate to have a wonderful dad and I hope his legacy lives on in me as I am fortunate enough to be a dad. Not everyone is as fortunate as I and I realize this.

We have a Father in God who loves us very much regardless of our fortunes and misfortunes. He calls us to call upon Him in prayer as Father, Daddy or Dad. And, when he loves us, it spills and blesses all who stand in our midst.

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit

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FLICKS: Despite’s flaws, “Mary Shelley” offers some timely advice

Posted on 16 June 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema Dave”

Robert DeNiro is not Young Vito Corleone, but he played the character in an Oscar Winning portrayal in The Godfather Part II.” DeNiro also portrayed the “Raging Bull” Jake LaMotta in another Oscar Winning performance. Sometimes, actors get confused between fantasy and reality and think they are the people they are playing. This seems to be the case last Sunday night in Manhattan in which DeNiro portrayed a cult leader in an auditorium filled with sycophantic apostles from the Broadway stage. DeNiro’s profanity laced diatribe criticizing the President of the United States was met with a standing ovation.

As I write this column on Tuesday morning, the divide between entertainment fantasy and political reality has expanded to gargantuan proportions. After a 68 year conflict, President Trump has begun negotiations to denuclearize the despot nation known as North Korea. With dwindling box office and dropping television ratings, entertainment industry leaders may want to rethink supporting a “Fearless Leader” like the delusional DeNiro. With armchair diplomacy and a surging economy, the American consumer may want to become more pragmatic when discussing our current President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Despite entertainment headlines about “Oceans 8” overthrowing “Solo: A Star Wars Story” for the weekend box office crown, sales revenues were flat for the Summer Blockbuster Season. With good word of mouth and full Disney/Pixar backing, expect “The Incredibles 2” to dominate headlines and box office revenue this weekend.

Mary Shelley” also opens this weekend locally. Forty five years ago on PBS, this English Drama would have been routine programming on Sunday Night’s “Masterpiece Theater.” The film features beautiful scenery, very little action with English people talking a lot.

Elle Fanning portrays “Mary Shelley” and this 20-year-old actress from Conyers, Georgia is quite good as the frail, but strong willed young author. Fanning holds her own with a Veteran British ensemble that features Douglas Booth as Percy Bysse Shelley and Ben Hardy as Doctor Polidori. The three characters write and recite poetry and with one another. The topics of death, women’s liberation and sexual orientation are are also broached.

With the exception of the opening moments when she is reciting ghost stories in a a cemetery, we are three-quarters of the way into the film before we finally see Mary Shelley begin writing the book she is best known for, “Frankenstein.: This dull wait is too long and this is why “Mary Shelley” is such a disappointment to fans of gothic literature.

Besides “The Incredibles 2,” cinematic action will pick up next weekend with the release of “American Animals.” For all of it’s flaws, “Mary Shelley” does contain an important line from Doctor Polidori, “We have created monsters, don’t let them devour us.” Hollywood executives, Broadway producers and Robert DeNiro, take heed.

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CLERGY CORNER: Love of a father

Posted on 14 June 2018 by LeslieM

Why do we love? Do we love because of what we can get out of a relationship or because of what we can give into a relationship? God, our Father, has given us good examples of what a loving father is to be like. We have a Father in Heaven who loves us unconditionally and gives us wonderful gifts. We have a Father who cares for our pains, trials and triumphs. God tells us not to worry and takes care of our needs. God longs to hear from you, His child. Don’t miss your chance to do the very same thing for your Father in Heaven, who loved you so much He sent his Son to die for you.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him?Matthew 7:11 (KJV)

I don’t know about you, but Father’s Day really conjures up a lot of conflicting emotions for me. I am blessed to be the father of wonderful children. I am also equally blessed for having a good father in my life. I was not the best kid and I was not the worst kid either. While others judged and even pronounced me a failure, “My Dad” just kept on loving me. I attempted to run from that love, but like the “hound of heaven,” he would not let me get away. His influence in my life cannot be overstated. “My Dad” — he really loved me. And, by the way, I turned out okay (crazy, but okay)! I really don’t know if we can love our kids too much. But, I do know that love needs to be expressed and valued. Your children — regardless of their lot in life or their adherence to your desires — need to know your love for them is constant and secure. You can love them and not support the lifestyle they have.

The Lord is like a Father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.Psalm 103:13 (NLT)

So, if you are a father, turn the tables on your kids on Father’s Day. When they tell you how special you are, make sure they know how you feel about them. You might even say, “Son/daughter, I love you!” There is no doubt in my mind that my dad knows how much I love him. It is also nice to say why sometimes. Some of you may not have a pleasant memory of your father or you might not have any memories at all. This may be the time to start down the road to forgiveness and/or reconciliation, or it may be a chance to thank others in your life that have offered fatherly wisdom to you and tell them why you appreciate them. I can’t help but feel slightly convicted, for when have I shared this kind of a moment with my Heavenly Father? Maybe your prayers often reflect more of what you want and less of how wonderful the Lord is, or more of what you need and less of how thankful you are for what you have.

Father’s Day is almost here. Plan to tell your father why you love him and appreciate him. Also, if you have children, make sure you tell them that you love them and why.

Tony Guadagnino is the pastor for Christian Love Fellowship Church, 801 SE 10 St., Deerfield Beach.

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Highlands sends senior class off to colleges

Posted on 07 June 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

While this year’s senior class at Highlands Christian Academy may have been small in numbers, it didn’t lack for outstanding young student-athletes.

It was one of our finest (signing classes),” said Highlands Christian Academy Athletic Director Jim Good. “It was one of our smaller classes as we graduated only 30, but a quality group of young people.”

Eight student-athletes are moving on to the next level and it is something that is not lost on Good, who is also the schools’ varsity basketball coach.

As an Athletic Director, it’s always rewarding to see our high school kids get the opportunity to play at the next level,” Good said. “For many, it has been a dream since they were younger to continue playing the sport they love at the college level.

I know that our coaching staff stresses the importance of using their talents to honor and glorify Christ while competing,” Good added, “Years of hard work, effort, and persistence pays off and its always exciting to see the pride and joy in the parents eyes as they sign their name on that letter of intent.”

Good said this year’s graduating class truly exemplified being a student-athlete.

All eight of them excelled in the classroom as well as on the court or field,” Good said. “Many have been involved with earning top community hours and are the recipients of many class awards.”

Ryan Szklany and Matt Veynovich were among the student-athletes that excelled both on and off the field.

Szklany, who is headed to Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach where he will run cross country and track was the school’s 2018 Valedictorian.

He was also named first team All-County for his junior and season year for cross country and track. In addition to being named the Sun Sentinel Runner of the Year for cross country in his senior year, he was also the recipient of the 2018 Reg Cook Scholar-Athlete Award.

Szklany is considered a “Lifer” at HCA as he began in Kindergarten. He is planning to study Engineering.

Veynovich, who is headed to Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA, where he will play basketball, was the school’s Salutatorian.

Veynovich earned first Team All-State for the Sunshine State Athletic Conference and set the HCA career record for three pointers made in his career with 191. Veynovich is also a “Lifer” and started at the school in Kindergarten. He is planning on studying Psychology.

Other athletes from the 2018 senior class heading off to college include Erin Allen, volleyball, University of North Greenville in Greenville, SC; Sawyer Lawhon, basketball, Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota; Chad Allen, baseball, Keiser University in West Palm Beach; Giancarlo Edwards, baseball, Keiser University in West Palm Beach; Jurden D’Arnault, baseball, North Central Missouri College in Trenton, Missouri; and Richard Silva, soccer, Newbury College in Boston, MA.

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FLICKS: Horror happenings, Mary Shelley & American Animals open soon

Posted on 07 June 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

As evidenced by last month’s screening of The Return of the Living Dead sponsored by Popcorn Frights, the horror movie community is an untapped market. This Friday, June 8, Popcorn Frights will follow up with a screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by Tobe Hooper. Horror devotees are expected to drive from Orlando and Miami to catch this special screening at the Savor Cinema (503 SE 6 St., Ft. Lauderdale).

Released in 1974, a year after The Exorcist was released, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was considered rude, crude and socially unacceptable. Unlike the Hollywood embrace of William Friedkin’s direction of William Peter Blatty’s novel about a teen processed by an evil demon, this film was banned in many communities when it was released for Halloween. Whereas The Exorcist was instantly recognized as a classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a pure cinematic visceral experience that has grown in status after four decades.

The plot for the film is as old as the Boris Karloff thriller The Old Dark House. A group of travelers in Texas run out of gas and are forced to stop at a creepy community. Unlike The Old Dark House, which features a creepy family and a creepier butler, this film features a creepy cannibal family with power tools.

The film featured Marilyn Burns as the leading lady and Gunnar Hansen as the chainsaw wielding Leatherface.

Hansen later spoofed his role in the comedy Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, which also featured local actress Linnea Quigley. Both Hansen and Burns passed away three years ago, within a year of each other. In their latter years, they held a place of honor within the horror movie convention circuit.

Steve Owens was also a regular patron of the convention circuit and my personal friend. Owens, who worked with Cemetery Prints and was also an instructor, passed away last week. After a full day’s work on the vendor floor at a convention, Steve could be found late at night poolside with a bottle in his hand and a quick joke. A celebration of life and laughter honoring Steve will be held this Saturday night, June 9, at Bru’s Room in Coconut Creek (5460 W. Hillsboro Blvd.), for those who knew him, starting at 6 p.m. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of television sets, so you will be able to see whether or not Justified takes the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes).

Starring Elle Fanning, Mary Shelley opens next weekend, June 15. A costume drama set in Elizabethan times, this film explores how a teenager is influenced to write a gothic novel about a man who made a monster.

Two hundred years later, the novel Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus is still in print and is required reading.

In two weeks, American Animals opens. A heist drama based on a true story, it features four friends who want to steal art work from their college library.

Also check out “The Amazing Mister A,” a magician/ventriloquist, this Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at the Deerfield Beach Percy White Library.

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CLERGY CORNER: Religion bad for humanity?

Posted on 07 June 2018 by LeslieM

Not long ago, I invited a friend to Rosh Hashanah services. He declined the invitation, saying that he would not attend a synagogue, since “Religion is the cause of all wars, and the world would be at peace if it weren’t for religion.”

I asked him, what do you want from the Jewish religion? We are not sending gunmen to gun down at point blank civilian couples who have children waiting for them at home? His response was that all religions speak in the name of G-d, and that created all conflicts in history.

My friend meant well, but he is wrong. Rejecting Judaism because you believe in world peace and tolerance is like refusing to enter a Japanese restaurant because you love sushi. It just doesn’t make sense.

War comes naturally to people. It existed long before any religion. The two greatest killers in history—Stalin and Hitler — were not religious and did what they did not in the name of religion, but in the name of a secular utopian system they believed in. Conflict is inherent to human nature. We are selfish, possessive, envious, competitive and insecure. Cruelty is part of human nature.

Peace, on the other hand, is not natural to the human condition. It had to be taught and learned. And it was a religious idea.

The first and most powerful vision of world peace was presented to mankind by the prophets of ancient Israel. They predicted a time when “one nation will not lift a sword against another nation, and they will no longer learn to wage war.” In a world that saw war as an inevitable fact of life, the Jewish religion introduced a radical new concept: that war is ultimately undesirable and peace is the ideal state for which to strive.

Without religion, we would find other things to fight about, like parking spots and noise from the neighbors. We would fight over territory, wealth, race, tribalism, ethnic pride. But without religion, world peace would not have entered the human vocabulary. Our dream of world peace is biblically inspired. Ideals do not live in bubbles. Like people, they need parents to give birth to them and a home environment to sustain them. Peace without religion is homeless. It was Judaism that gave birth to the vision of world peace and still provides a framework to implement that vision.

True, religion has been used, and continues to be used, by many as a pretext for war. But this does not invalidate all religion, just as when football players brawl, it does not invalidate the game of football. Ridding the world of all religion would not end war any more than abolishing football would brawls. Mengele’s horrific medical experiments in Auschwitz, does not invalidate all medicine. It was he who used medicine to torture innocent people. In fact, religion still provides the strongest argument for peace between people: that we were all created by the same G-d. Without this belief, is there anything that really unites us all? Maybe we are essentially different? Maybe we are not one? What for Thomas Jefferson was “self evident,” may be not evident for others?

What unites us all is that we are created by one G-d who conferred upon each person infinite dignity. The more I recognize G-d, the more I recognize the oneness of humanity and all of creation, because it is the G-dliness in us which makes us one. If Darwin taught that existence was essentially a war between natural forces and only the “fittest” survived (“survival of the fittest”), Judaism taught that there is an inherent symmetry between everything in the universe. The more I am entrenched in my ego, the more I am separated from people. The more I am one with G-d, the more loving I am toward people, because it is in their face that I encounter myself, my Divine Self, which is part of your Divine Self. If I am truly one with G-d, I can never ignore the cry of a fellow Jew, and of a fellow human being.

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches, located in the Venetian Isle Shopping Center at 2025 E. Sample Rd. in Lighthouse Point. For all upcoming events, please visit

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: The sun will come out tomorrow

Posted on 07 June 2018 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen

It was one of those endless rainy May days — this one, and at that particular moment, especially torrential. It was the kind of day that anyone who had a slight inclination towards depression could latch onto as an excuse to inhibit a smile or a warm hello. And there I was waiting for an elevator in the lobby of Boca Regional Hospital shaking out my soaked umbrella and shivering as my wet clothes were assaulted by the icy air conditioning. My ultimate destination: a visit with a friend who had experienced a series of orthopedic screw-ups landing her here for the second time in two weeks, and, she was a legitimately unhappy “camper.” What’s more, the elevators were operating on a “don’t-rush-me-I’ll-be-there-eventually” current.

You’re one smart lady,” said the 60-ish-year-old tall well put-together gentleman sitting on the waiting-bench, in clothes that looked like they hadn’t reached the washing machine rinse cycle, evidently unprepared for the sudden deluge.

Uh — you mean the umbrella?” I asked

Yeah. I usually keep about a half dozen of them in my car. And, dummy that I am, they are all still there,” he said in mild self-deprecation.

Well, here, would you want to use this to get one from your car – and I’ll wait at the entrance for you to return it?” I asked.

No, no, no, thanks. I’m going to visit my mother. I will probably be here for hours. Maybe the rain will stop by then, but thanks anyway,” he responded.

The elevator arrived and we entered together and, as it creeped vertically at a horse and buggy pace, this stranger, whose last name, “Friend,” I could read from the hospital ID pasted to his jacket — made my day.

Ya know,” he told me, “I buy a bunch of umbrellas at Walmart for a couple of bucks, cheap, ya know … and every so often, when it rains, I give them to people I see in the street — some of them homeless, others just caught in a mess of rain getting battered and wet. They are so surprised and grateful — and I just keep on driving.”

What a great thing to do!

Then, “Friend” exited from the elevator on the floor below mine — poof and gone!

I had just enough time to reconfigure my negative thoughts for the day. By God, the “good people” are going to win. Assaulted day and night in all venues by the ugliness and selfishness, and corruption and veniality, that seemingly has overtaken our social norms, we tend to forget — or not be exposed to — the inherent good that goes on behind the pages of newspapers and the cable newsrooms. And I reminded myself, as I so often have to do lately, that good and evil have been in conflict since the beginning of time. Nor is that conflict ever likely to abate. And, by my calculation, “good” still had the statistical edge.

And with an extra bounce, I entered my friend’s hospital room with this story on my tongue noting the quick change of expression on her face – from a deep frown of physical pain to her old smile. We both know that the sun will come out tomorrow — well, maybe the next day — but eventually.

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Crockett Camps slated for June 30

Posted on 31 May 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Zack and Henri Crockett will be back at it again on June 30 as they host their 13th annual football and cheerleading camp. The popular event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mitchell Moore Center, 901 NW 10 St. in Pompano Beach.

Henri Crockett, 43, who played linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings, along with his brother Zachary, 45, a former fullback for the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys, are expecting between 300 and 400 local children to attend. Both men grew up in Pompano Beach, and graduated from Blanche Ely High School, before they both played at Florida State University in their path to the NFL.

It is important for us to give back to the community,” said Henri Crockett, the founder and president of the Crockett Foundation. “When you give back, it does something for your soul. It is important for us to come back and show these kids that we are human and there isn’t anything you can’t do.”

It isn’t necessarily about making it to the NFL,” he continued. “It is about building lifelong relationships and how to work with people and learning how to get along with all different kinds of cultures. We go to the communities and try to build leaders one child at a time.”

The clinic is designed to introduce children, ages 4-16, to football by teaching basic skills in a fun and energetic environment and is supported through a grant from the NFL Foundation. The camp is free and includes T-Shirts and autograph signings from the professional athletes.

Some of the notable current and former professional athletes expected to attend are Al Harris, Jabari Price, Tyrone Carter, Walt McFadden, Rashard Robinson, J.T. Thompson, OJ Santiago and Eddie Jones (Heat). They are also trying to get former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson along with some college players. Tony Sands will be running the timing stations.

Family Health & Community Fest

They also will hold The Family Health and Community Festival on Aug. 4 which is one of Broward County’s largest school-supply donation events. The festival is attended every year by more than 2,500 students and their families.

The Crockett Foundation’s Family and Health Community Festival provides backpacks, filled with school supplies, and shoes. It also offers free physical exams, free immunizations, and free haircuts — all in a progressive circuit-style setting. For more information, call Zeffery Clark at 954-773-5245.

Simply Soccer camps slated

Area residents are encouraged to attend the Simply Soccer camp, which is about to begin its 30th year of soccer camps for children 5-15 in nearby Coral Springs.

There are three sessions, each day ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours camp is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Tiny Tot program for kids ages 5 and 6 is from 9 a.m. to noon. Full day campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. You do not have to be a city resident to attend.

The dates are: June 11-15; June 18-22; June 25-29; July 2-6; July 9-13; July 16-20; July 23-27; July 30-Aug. 3 and Aug. 6-10.

You can register daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. For information on the camp, call 954-345-2200.

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